Japanese Princess Aiko visits Meiji Jingu shrine in Tokyo on April 10, 2024, to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the death of Empress Shoken, wife of Emperor Meiji. (Pool photo) (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.


Japan, U.S. leaders vow to boost security alliance amid China rise

WASHINGTON - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed Wednesday to bolster their security alliance with China's growing military assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region in mind, while vowing to become "global partners" as their ties evolve.

At their 85-minute summit held during Kishida's state visit to the United States, the first by a Japanese premier in nine years, the two leaders also confirmed they will join hands in advancing relations between their forces and strengthening supply chains for crucial products such as semiconductors to tackle China's regional clout.


Yen sinks to 153 range vs. dollar, 1st time in 34 years

NEW YORK - The yen fell below the 153 line against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday in New York for the first time in nearly 34 years, as data showing higher-than-anticipated U.S. inflation added to expectations that the Federal Reserve may delay interest rate cuts.

The U.S. consumer price index data for March, showing a 3.5 percent increase compared to a year earlier, raised questions about how early the Fed will begin to bring down borrowing costs given its use of high rates to fight persistent inflation in the world's largest economy.


Former sumo grand champion Akebono dies at 54

TOKYO - Former sumo grand champion Akebono died in early April of heart failure, the sport's governing body said Thursday. He was 54.

Akebono, who hailed from Hawaii and became the sport's first foreign-born yokozuna in 1993, had been in a Tokyo hospital. The 11-time grand tournament winner helped fuel a sumo boom in the 1990s, engaging in great battles with hugely popular brothers Wakanohana and Takanohana.


Japan to pick 2 astronauts from 7 candidates for Moon landing

TOKYO - Japan will select two astronauts to send to the Moon in 2028 or later from seven candidates after the Japanese science ministry and the U.S. space agency on Wednesday confirmed flight opportunity allocations in the U.S.-led Artemis Moon exploration program.

Some of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's candidates, including two trainees recruited in February last year, expressed their hope to be picked for the Artemis program and become the first non-American astronaut to land on the Moon.


China "strongly dissatisfied" with Japan, U.S. interference in Taiwan

BEIJING - China expressed Thursday its "strong dissatisfaction" with and "firm opposition" to Japan and the United States, alleging their leaders grossly interfered in its internal affairs with regard to Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own, during their meeting in Washington.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed during their summit on the critical importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and encouraged the peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues.


South Korea opposition keeps majority in landslide general election win

SEOUL - South Korea's main opposition and its affiliate won a landslide victory in Wednesday's general election, retaining a majority in the parliament, according to official results from the country's election commission the following day.

The Democratic Party's triumph over the minority ruling People Power Party dealt a major blow to the administration of President Yoon Suk Yeol, who still has three years left in his five-year term.


Daihatsu to restart all Japan plants in May after safety scandal

OSAKA - Toyota Motor Corp.'s small-car unit, Daihatsu Motor Co., said Thursday it will resume operations at all its assembly factories in Japan on May 7, some four months after it suspended its entire domestic production in late December due to safety test rigging.

The automaker will resume production of the Copen minivehicle at its factory in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, which is the last of its four assembly factories in Japan to remain halted.


Britain, Japan, U.S. to hold regular drills in Indo-Pacific from 2025

LONDON - The British government said Wednesday it will hold regular joint military drills with Japan and the United States in the Indo-Pacific from next year as the nations respond to China's intensifying military activities.

British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said the planned trilateral exercises would send "a strong message to anyone who would seek to undermine the rules-based international order."

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